Now more than ever, there are more people turning to historically black colleges and universities for post-secondary education. The caliber of education you can receive at an HBCU in America is unparalleled, which is likely why HBCUs have even seen an increase in popularity for students of other races. HBCUs have so much to offer to ambitious black men and women, so if you’re even considering one, here are a few things to know before you dive in.
Black Culture is Incorporated Everywhere
One of the most beautiful things about attending an HBCU as a black student, particularly one who attended primarily white schools up until that point, is the embracing of black culture. Enrolling at an HBCU gives you the unique and wonderful experience of being surrounded by apologetically black peers, professors, and mentors. Black history is incorporated into every class, every subject, every club and team you can imagine. Black history and culture, which makes up a negligible portion of class time in predominantly white institutions (PWIs), is given the respect, appreciation, and celebration they deserve.
You Can Apply for Multiple HBCUs with One Application
Before you start filling out applications, if you are dead set on attending an HBCU but have your eye on several—or don’t know which would be best for you—you should absolutely consider filling out the Common Black College application. The CBCA is a single application that black students can fill out, and when submitted, will send their application to all 65 partnering institutions. It has a one-time $20 fee, which is a savings of hundreds of dollars. The application fee for Alabama A&M alone is $30. If you’re considering any of the schools on the list of partnering institutions, do yourself a favor and go with the CBCA.
Networking and Alumni Support are BIG
The sense of pride that most HBCU alumni have makes them eager to pay it forward and help current students and recent graduates to succeed. They remember what it was like to be in those shoes, and know the value of a strong network.
In addition to alumni support, network with your classmates and professors. Wherever you go on campus, whether it’s the cafeteria, or even just strolling through, be sure to greet the people you come into contact with. Being social and making those connections pays off!
Socializing is Everything at an HBCU
At most HBCUs, everything is a reason to celebrate. Homecoming takes on a whole new meaning; beyond school spirit, it’s a week-long event packed with dancing, cookouts, music, culture and connection. Whereas at most PWIs, homecoming can be a lackluster event that many of us may not even know is going on, at HBCUs, a walk through campus is loaded with bonfires, king & queen events, fundraisers, and more. It’s your time to let loose and feel a sense of camaraderie with your classmates and alumni. Be sure to take advantage of these events and enjoy yourself!
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